An undemanding work environment.
Work sucks. I don't care what you do for a living. You wouldn't do it unless they paid you. It stands to reason that the less demanding the work environment, the less suck-titude. Jeans instead of slacks, part-time instead of full-time; the honor system instead of time-clocks, and preferably no random testing for illicit substances. I like a nice, subjective boss, too, who plays favorites. Let's face it, people. It's easier to play golf and drink with the boss for his/her consideration than to work for it. And if you're the opposite sex, a little tight clothing is much easier to wear than the chains of overtime, dedication and a commitment to excellence.
Regarding the workplace, I'm a firm believer in hourly wages. You can either get paid for the work you accomplish -- or the time you spend at the office. I log in a lot more time than productivity. If I got paid by the tasks I completed, I'd be sucking cock for rent money! But hourly, I do all right. Make sure you're getting paid for hanging out, not accomplishing something worthwhile. I know several workaday folks who get paid to blog from work! How's that for happiness?
A nothing-to-lose disposition
Some hippie chick whose name I forget once sang, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.” That's one astute hippie. First, consider houses. Our big, fancy house on the hill becomes a muse for the bank holding the note, the weed and bug guy, the cleaning lady (viva La Raza!), the taxman and your future ex-spouse who'll get it in the divorce, anyway. Meanwhile, you spend all your time hustling to make the mortgage and keeping the HOA off your back (Who cares if my garbage can is out after 1PM? Your wife was out past 1AM, Dale. Maybe you should keep an eye on her and forget about how tall my weeds are!) Anyway, you need a house or apartment that you don't worry about losing -- something you're almost happy to walk away from. A rat-hole apartment downtown, a single-wide mobile home, a spare bedroom at David Hasselhoff's place -- any of these will do. These places offer you peace of mind, which is what you're after when you're at home anyway. The house doesn't comfort you. It's the stuff in the house -- the sofa, the TV with cable, the fridge, the computer. You can fit these things anywhere. Hell, I'd live in a U-Haul if I could somehow skirt the zoning laws.
Like fancy houses, nice cars, too, are useless possessions. Here's a free tip: you have to wash nice cars, otherwise they don't look nice. I can barely muster the ambition to floss. I'm supposed to Armor-All the tires every week? They're tires, people. Do you wax the soles of your shoes? And don't think a cool car gets you laid. The few guys I knew who were knee-deep in cooter couldn't afford cars at all. The girls drove them around town! These guys had time to romance the ladies while I was at work like a schmuck.
You need a car. But you need a car that you don't have to worry about. Life is full of dust, pot holes, runaway shopping carts, bird droppings, hail storms and vandals looking for cars with a “W” bumper sticker. So drive a piece of crap. Again, you want something you're not afraid to lose. I almost hope somebody steals my car when I'm not looking. In fact, I leave a note on my steering wheel: “Dear Senor, por favor ayuda yourselfo to mi carro. Mi insurance agente will dame mucho dinero por el carro, y tu puede get muchos pollos y cervesas once you make it across el border de Mexico. Your Amigo, LBB.”
Adequate rest and a good night's sleep.
Everything sucks if you're tired. You can be at Disneyland, chock-full of ecstacy pills, riding Space Mountain while sucking Cristal out of a chocolate replica of Anna Nicole Smith's hooters. If you didn't get enough sleep the night before, you'll still be cranky and irritable. A couple of times a week, I don't get my full 9 hours of sleep. I'm 37 times more likely to commit a violent felony on these days. For example, once when I was tired I kicked an old lady in the stomach for asking me directions to Luby's cafeteria. What's more, I sprained my ankle on her wheelchair. As if I needed another reason to dislike old people -- or the handicapped. Anyway, get enough sleep or the following day is useless.
Several big meals every day
You don't want to go hungry. If you're hungry, you can't think about anything else. That one scientist, Maslow, proved it when he trained a salivating dog to run into traffic when Maslow rung a bell, and the dog usually got squished by a car. What a sadistic bastard Maslow was, now that I think about it. Anyway, when you're hungry and you're at work, for example, your workday becomes a covert operation to score a meal. One time I had this report due, but I was hungry. Plus I hadn't slept well the night before. I noticed a workmate, Joyce from two cubicals down, had a Pay Day bar on her desk. So instead of finishing my report, I made a phone call to to Joyce and explained that we had her father down at the morgue and could she please come and identify the body. She fell for it. Once she left I executed a recon mission and grabbed the Pay Day. Plus I got to hurt Joyce's feelings and make her use some doc-time for nothing. Two birds, one stone. The point is, none of this would have happened if I'd eaten breakfast, except maybe that crank call I made to Joyce. That bitch had it coming for ratting me out on the “Xerox incident.”
Here are some other things you'll need for happiness:
- A really cool digital watch that does a lot of cool shit, like a Casio G-Shock
- A nearby Circle K with a functional soda fountain
- A subscription to NetFlix
- A punching bag, a medicine ball and your favorite fitness equipment
- A great salsa recipe
- A spouse whom you don't want to strike every time you hear his/her voice
- A blog, broadband Internet and some like-minded bloggers
- The knowledge that life is temporary, that death is permanent, and that once you die you cease to exist, therefore no God can seek retribution on you.